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Save the worst for last in this not-so-’scary’ series (sarah michelle gellar mention)

Josh Huggett

Friday 14 April 2006, by Webmaster

If you’re interested in seeing a scary movie this weekend, don’t go see “Scary Movie 4”. However, if you’re interested in seeing a funny movie this weekend, still don’t go see “Scary Movie 4.”

Anna Farris is back for a fourth time as Cindy Campbell, this time portraying a comedic version of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s role in “The Grudge.” Craig Bierko fittingly plays the character of Tom Ryan, a spin-off of Tom Cruise’s rendition of Ray Ferrier in 2005’s “War of the Worlds.” The two go through leaps and bounds, laughs and gags together as they try to solve the mystery of the ghost kid who meows and outrun the floating I-Pods and a naked U.S. president.

Director David Zucker, who’s produced such comedies as “Airplane,” “The Naked Gun” and “Baseketball,” weaves together half-a-dozen plotlines to create a melded hodge-podge of awkward transitions and lost significance.

“Scary Movie 4” pokes fun of the horror film genre by trivializing several recent action/horror pictures. Films such as “Saw,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “The Village” are all on the chopping block as memorable scenes and lines are re-enacted with light-hearted twists. And because the story is such a mix of different films, the plot feels like it’s it was pasted together from scraps on the cutting room floor.

But of course that’s not what this movie is about. It’s not about the quality; it’s about the quantity of jokes that can be thrown at you, because, in theory, some of them should stick. Few do however and even with cameos from comedy veterans Charlie Sheen, Leslie Nielsen and Anthony Anderson the genuine moments of funny are few and far between.

Bierko’s performance is the highlight of this 83-minute circus, as his rubberized expressions superbly accent his character’s stone-faced stupidity in the face of danger. His constant yet inadvertent assault on Farris’s character will produce some laughs, but it’s his depiction of Tom Cruise’s daytime television antics that produces the finest scene of the film. Much like in the previous three “Scary Movies’” Farris’s characterization is of the damsel in distress is so exaggerated and way over the top it only adds to the incredible head-shaking effect that this film will have on audiences.

Although the premise of Scary Movie 4 is clever enough, the slapstick, kick-in-the-crotch humor seems to have lost even its juvenile touch, as the most of the parody falls flat on its face. Maybe it’s because the Wayans brothers neither wrote, nor produced it. Maybe it’s because the movies being spoofed weren’t all that scary themselves. Or maybe is just because four of almost any series is one too many.